Imperfect Desires Chapter 53: Like I Give A...
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The most mystifying thing about strangers is the fact that sometimes, they hold the power to change your life just like you hold the power to change theirs. Because a single smile does wonders whether you believe it or not. Someone somewhere out there needs that single smile of yours to keep going on. Perhaps that's the only sunshine in their rainy day.
But there are always those familiar souls in those strangers who become our friends, acquaintances, or life partners. It's just a matter of when or how your heart recognized those familiar souls. Because every relationship starts with some memories you shared with a stranger.
For Darren, Xiu was that stranger who made his heart want to smile at her. And seeing her smiling like that brought a strange comfort to his heart. Especially, when he heard that her name was also... Xiu.
That explained why she was the stranger that felt most familiar to him at first meeting. Her presence already felt familiar and now even her name was very familiar. Familiar and very close to his heart.
In his own thoughts, Darren completely forgot that Dylan's Assistant's name was also Bai Xiu. Not because he didn't remember it but because his whole attention was on Xiu's given name. He didn't even hear her family name.
"What are you girls doing here?" To distract himself from his aching heart, he shifted the topic. Both Xiu and Nora were dressed in their working clothes, there was no way they came for a run here.
Both besties shared a mischievous look as they said together, "We are sightseeing."
"Huh? Sightseeing? Here?" Darren looked around at the resplendent park and found it beautiful but it definitely wasn't a place for sightseeing.
"Aiyayaya..." Xiu moved her swing to his side as she said, "Sit with us. You'll learn the art of sightseeing."
Darren's curiosity was piqued by her way of speaking. And he was looking forward to this 'art of sightseeing'.
"Oh, look that one in shorts and a t-shirt." Nora pointed at the guy that was running on the track.
Xiu scrunched up her face saying, "Nah. He's at most 6."
"Why? Look at his strong built." Nora argued while still pointing at the guy.
"Too bulky. And look at his height. I don't like that height at all. Also, he's fair like a porcelain doll. He'll give girls some self-complexion." Xiu retorted while shaking his head.
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Nora had a thoughtful look as she said, "You're right. He's indeed short. I like boys with tall height."
Darren was stuck between both of them listening to them giving points to boys and their so-called 'art of sightseeing' was checking out boys. Like seriously? Darren really couldn't decide whether he was supposed to be angry or was he supposed to laugh at them. They both were amusing.
Darren cleared his throat to get their attention. "Are you guys seriously giving points to boys?"
"Men." Nora corrected him as she said, "We are giving points to men. Young boys are too ambitious these days."
Darren couldn't refute her words. "Well, then how about me. How many points should I get?"
Xiu leaned back and Nora did the same as they looked at each other from behind Darren's frame. "How many?" Xiu asked pointing at him. "But he's our neighbor. We shouldn't be doing this on him, right?"
"I agree. We have to see him almost every day." Nora agreed along with her.
"But he has beautiful eyes," Xiu said matter-of-factly.
"And the perfect height as well," Nora added.
"His-," Xiu was about to speak when Darren spoke up.
"Girls, I'm sitting right here." At his reminder, both Nora and Xiu straightened up as they played the nonchalance game.
Xiu whistled a tune as she tried ignoring his eyes but couldn't do so. "Look, McSpicy..."
Hearing Nora's chuckle, Xiu stopped to look at her inquisitively. "Oh my, Baby Xiu'er you call him McSpicy?" Xiu nodded. "Suits him very well."
Xiu laughed back saying, "I know, right? He has a spicy tongue with those sweet looks."
"Still here!" Darren spoke out again to remind both of them of his presence which was being treated like thin air now. Then he looked at Xiu and said, "Thanks for the compliment of 'sweet looks'." She opened her mouth to say something but he didn't let her as he added, "And I'm totally going to ignore your comment of 'spicy tongue'."
The three of them got up to leave as the street lamps were turned on and the darkness grew more and more. On their way back, Xiu suggested, "By the way, Mr. McSpicy don't you think you should treat us to some drinks or dinner? You're our new neighbor, show some goodwill."
Nora slapped her head saying, "Baby Xiu'er, you can't ask people to treat you to a meal."
"Why not?" Xiu rubbed her head where Nora hit her as she pouted.
"Yeah, why not?" Darren took Xiu's side which made Nora look at him in disbelief. "Besides, my mother says that we should never refuse someone for food. It's disrespectful."
"Disrespectful to the person?" Nora asked raising her brows.
"Nope. Disrespectful to the food." Darren replied with a straight face but his answer made Nora' lips to twitch while Xiu was gasping for air while laughing.
"That was a good one!" Xiu and Darren shared a high-five leaving Nora to facepalm herself as she thought how did she get stuck between these two? Wasn't her bestie supposed to be on her side?
Seeing Nora's blank look, Darren said, "Ms. Cartwright, stop thinking. It's just a meal and why should I give up on dining with my two lovely new neighbors?" Recalling something he added, "Also, isn't it a tradition to send something to eat at your neighbors home when you move in? As a way of introduction."
"Those are ancient traditions. Who follows them in this age?" Nora retorted.
"Why do you want to be like everyone else? Let's do something different." Darren's reply shut Nora up. She knew he wasn't going to give up now.
"Guys, could you please stop. I'll pay for the meal. What's the big deal?" Before Darren could say anything, Xiu added, "Besides, I should show my sincerity after banging your car."
"I don't want to decline this offer..." Darren gave a thoughtful look as he said, "But just a reminder, the car was my friend's."
"Like I give a damn!" Xiu cursed while shrugging her shoulders and taking the lead to stop the elevator.
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